The Evening Star Diamond, a 39 carat pear-shaped diamond from India’s ancient Golconda mines, was sold for US$5.4 million (US$138,000 per carat) at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction.
According to Christies, the Evening Star was named due to its owner’s custom of wearing the gem to her most important evening events – often as a pendant suspended from a diamond necklace of 68 graduated pear-shaped diamonds and with matching pear of earrings.
Auctioned in separate lots, the necklace sold for US$1,094,500 (US$11,000 per carat) while the earrings fetched $2,098,500 (US$101,000 per carat)
Christies New York head of jewellery Rahul Kadakia said the Golconda mines are the source of many of the world’s finest diamonds including the celebrated Hope Diamond and the historic Wittelsbach Diamond, which sold for $24.3 million in 2008 – the highest price achieved for any jewel sold at auction.
He said Golconda diamonds are often described as ‘diamonds of the first water’, a reference to their water-clear transparency and soft luminescent quality.
“The Evening Star Diamond bears all of the traits that collectors value so highly in these superb diamonds.”
He said its sale price was “a fitting grand finale to a year that saw over US$100 million in jewels change hands” at Christie’s auctions in the US.
“The diamond market continues to show remarkable strength despite the volatility of the financial world,” he concluded.